I'm going to throw it all down here and then get on with my life.
As most of you know I've been quite sick for just over a week. My tests came back this weekend. And - while holding a plate of coconut-lime cupcakes no less - I got news from my doctor that I have Lyme disease.
Lyme disease. (Some of us call it Lymes or Lymes disease because it just sounds better with that bonus s that doesn't actually belong.)
Lyme is different for different people. For me is started like the stomach flu. When that passed I was left for days feeling like I had taken cold medicine, unable to drive, spell, write, or formulate coherent sentences.
I would stand in my bedroom for minutes wondering, "Why did I come up here?"
And goodness. That's really no fun.
Telling people you have Lymes elicits one of four responses:
1. The Not-From-Around-Here
"You've got lime what?"
2. The Buddy
"You have Lyme? Me too. Let's hug. And then let's talk about our symptoms, herbs and antibiotics."
3. The No Big Deal
"Lymes? So what? Even my dog has Lymes. Just take some antibiotics and get over it."
and 4.The Tragedy
"You have Lymes? [Tragic scrunchy sad face] I am so sorry. I am SO SORRY. Did you know that some people with Lyme can't walk because the spirochetes attack their nervous system? Oh my God. What if you can't walk? Oh! I am SO SORRY!
"You never fully heal from it you know. It's so sad. Let's hug. And cry. And hug again.
Oh. My. God. I am so sorry. [Repeat tragic scrunchy sad face]"
And really, all four are kind of true.
Okay, not the first one. But I wish we had more lime cupcakes and less Lyme disease around here so that counts for something.
As for "the Buddy"'s take: holy epidemic. I live smack dab in the middle of the midwestern blue blob on this map. I know one family who decided to move away because they were so freaked out by the prevalence of Lyme in our area. Really.
It's everywhere where I live.
And those are just confirmed cases. It's the tip of the iceberg.
But you know, "No Big Deal" has a good point, too. Because my dog has it too. She just finished her month of antibiotics as I begin mine. it's so widespread that it sometimes seems like something you are bound to get - and get over.
If everyone has it, it can't be so bad. Can it?
As for "Tragedy", she has a point too. Actually, she has the most points of the bunch.
And as much as I'd like to brush her off as a whack-job, I can't.
Because while catching Lyme early is a very, very good thing, even a month on antibiotics isn't a guarantee of wellness.
Lyme is a tricky bugger that hides from the antibiotics and has a nasty habit of coming back months, years, or decades later and wreaking havoc on your muscles, joints, and nervous system.
Lyme is scary shit.
And when people hug me and say encouraging things like, "You can beat this Rachel!" I feel like they think I have terminal cancer or something. And that's a little frightening.
Actually, a lot.
So I'm shaking it off and taking it on the way I take everything on.
With research, diet, herbs, remedies, and anything else that feels like a fit. (Including the keychain of Saint Jude I found the day before I got sick. I've decided the he's the patron saint of Lyme Disease. Saints will still go to bat for me if I'm more Pagan than Christian, won't they? I think so.)
And yes, 30-days of antibiotics.
My beautiful, beloved gut flora is so dead.
This means I'm staring down antibiotics that I'm grateful to have, several tinctures that feel like magic in a bottle, a few vitamins, and assorted herbal remedies.
I'm not drinking, I've cut caffeine, and I'm going to bed early every night. I'm trying to chill out.
I'm hoping that by taking this on from all angles I'll emerge truly well and will all of my faculties.
Heck, maybe better than when I went it.
I promise to share with you my healing protocol as soon as I know what that is. I'll devote a post to it here.
As to other writing, I'll write when I can. When the words come easily. It might be a lot, it might not. We'll just have to wait and see.
Thanks for being awesome and supportive and for biting your tongue when you want to say "You can beat this, Rachel!" (Okay. You can say it if you really mean it...)
If you or some of your favorite people are fighting with Lyme right now, I've started a Pinterest board where I'll collect good information. You can find it here.
But enough of all this.
Let's get on with this beautiful life.
P.S. Your positive, loving comments here are so appreciated. More so than you could possibly know. Please. keep. commenting. x